Plenty to do outside around Knoxville

Beth KinnaneOur Town Outdoors

Check out these great outdoor activities in the metro area.

Friday, July 9

An Evening of Nature Journaling, 6:30 p.m. at Seven Islands State Birding Park. Cost is $5. Nature Journaling can be a great way to learn about and document observations in the outdoors. Participate in fun activities and learn some prompts that will improve your observation skills. For more info or to register go here or call 715-630-6848.

Sounds of the Night Hike, 8:45 p.m. at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park. Cost is $10. Join Ranger Savannah on a 1-mile night walk to listen for owls, Whip-poor-wills, and Chuck-wills-widows. Bring a flashlight. For more info or to register go here or call 423-420-2331.

Saturday, July 10

Kayak Paddle, 9 a.m., at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park. Cost is $20.00/personal equipment or $30.00/renting equipment. Along this 2-mile paddle enjoy the beautiful scenery of Unicoi Mountains, trees, and waterfowl. Learn the importance of waterways in Tennessee. For more info or to register go here or call 423-420-2331.

Edible and Medicinal Plant Hike, 9 a.m. at Seven Islands State Birding Park. Cost is $5. Join Ranger Stephanie on a 2-3-mile hike to explore the plants used historically for medicinal purposes and also as a food source. For more info or to register go here or call 715-630-6848.

Beginning to Bird – Feathers, 9 a.m. at Ijams Nature Center. Cost is $8. View feathers up close, learn how to tell various feathers a part, and explore how these amazing structures came to be. For more info or to register go here or call 865-577-4717, ext. 127.

Hike with a Ranger, 9:30 a.m. at Norris Dam State Park. Event is free. Join Ranger Clara at The Canteen near the West Campground to learn about the items everyone needs while hiking and how to “Leave No Trace” during time spent outdoors, all on a moderate 2.5-mile hike on the Elkins Trail. For more info or to register go here or call 865-426-7461.

Canoe Float, 5 p.m. at Panther Creek State Park. Cost is $10. Enjoy Cherokee Lake on a relaxing evening canoe float. Cover canoeing basics, all experience levels welcome. For more info or to register go here or call 423-587-7046.

Guided Hike: Ghost House Trail, 8 p.m. at Big Ridge State Park. Event is free. Meet Hannah at the Grist Mill for a 2-mile hike along the Ghost House Trail. Along the way we’ll stop at different spots and tell real ghost stories of Big Ridge. Bring a flashlight. For more info or to register go here or call 865-992-5523.

Sunday, July 11

Loyston Point Trails, 9:30 a.m. at Loyston Point Trails. Event is free, organized by Bell Joy Ride – Knoxville. Loyston Point is on the water and a great place to ride all year round. Fun for riders of all abilities. After ride potluck, so bring a favorite dish. Details and registration here.

Monday, July 12

Virtual Junior Ranger Camp – July 12-23, 8 a.m. at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park. Cost is $40. Children will learn what life was like during the French and Indian War by practicing marching and musketry, defending the area from French attacks, trading deer skins for goods, various trades, Cherokee culture, and more. Ages 8-11. For more info or to register go here or call 423-420-2331.

Junior Ranger Camp – July 12-15, 8 a.m. at Norris Dam State Park. Cost is $50. Junior Rangers will learn a wide variety of topics, like flora and fauna, history, wilderness preparedness, etc., while having fun in the great outdoors. Ages 8-12. For more info or to register go here or call 865-426-7461.

Tuesday, July 13

Classic Hikes of the Smokies, 9 a.m. at Flat Creek trailhead, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, organized by Friends of the Smokies. This is a high elevation creek hike of 5.2 miles rated. For more info or to register go here.

Wednesday, July 14

Cycling Cades Cove Loop, sunrise to sunset. Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy the Cades Cove Loop Road on vehicle-free Wednesdays. For details and a map go here or call 865-436-7318.

Thursday, July 15

Nature Nuggets: Water Ways, 10 a.m. at Ijams Nature Center. Cost is $6. Beat the heat by exploring how water works at one of Ijams’ Creeks. Create boats, build dams, and discover aquatic creatures together. Children 2-4. For more info or to register go here or call 865-577-4717, ext. 127.

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